Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable – Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title card for Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable
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Relatable is a welcomed return for those a fan of Ellen DeGeneres’ style but if not into it? Well, this may not convince you she’s funny.


Director(s) Joel Gallen, Tig Notaro
Written By Ellen DeGeneres
Date Released 12/18/2018
Genre(s) Stand Up Comedy
Good If You Like Jokes About Being Gay

Observational Comedy

Comedy About Growing Up Poor

Jokes About How Wealthy Ellen Is Now

Noted Cast
Herself Ellen DeGeneres

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Summary

Ellen’s journey in Relatable is partly about looking back. Reminding you that she was once poor, and her dad could only afford $1 of gas at the pump. Also, despite how she is a celebrated gay icon, there was a time coming out nearly ruined her career. Hell, it also took down Laura Dern and even led Oprah to getting hate mail – just because they were associated with the episode. All of this is noted to remind you that Ellen gets it, she is relatable.

But it isn’t just in career and money, it’s driving fast, passing a slow driver and feeling awkward if you both get caught at the same red light. Not understanding what “Fine Dining” truly is, and why commercials tell you to ask your doctor about a certain pill. As if that’s your job. Though, perhaps the way Ellen shows she is relatable the most is by noting how “Back That Ass Up” by Juvenile gets her body moving.

Highlights

If You Like DeGeneres’ Style of Comedy, You’ll Be Entertained

Ellen doing a bit on being gay talked about like a pill commercial.
Ellen: Hi, I’m Ellen DeGeneres. Now I’d like to talk to you about gay.

I’m someone who enjoys Ellen’s style of comedy. I would never say she is a knee-slapping, gasping for air funny, but will make you chuckle. For whether it is bits about making a gay commercial, in the style of pill commercials, how you can try on everything but socks, and things of that nature, I find her funny. But what makes this special different is that it is not just her first one in 15 years, but also the first one where she has the power she has.

What I mean by that is, when Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now came out, that was but a few months before her Emmy winning talk show. So, she was still, kind of, recovering from being one of the few out women in entertainment, comedy especially. Something she talks about for she nods to those who’d think she’d fail as well as those who wanted her to be more femme in the early years.

Yet, at this point, you can see she is fully comfortable, doesn’t have to hold back, and while she has money and success, there are scars. Be it thinking her coming out would lead to a massive wave but, instead, like meerkats (a bit she has), people watched, saw the backlash, and went back in the closet.

Also, there is this vibe that being out, without someone on her fame level or higher, it weighed on her. How? Well, it’s like when it came to Obama’s presidency. Being the first, or most prominent, anything means you set the tone and have the burden of determining the future of a group or culture.

So, with that in mind, you can tell as much as Ellen is a nice and kind person, the burden of having to be so all the time kind of weighs on her. Makes her kind of feel less human, and it is annoying. Yet, as there are others who come out that are in entertainment, and everyday people, it’s a burden she knows she shares and is proud to have if it means more people loving themselves and others. Whether they are gay or not.

On The Fence

This Will Not Convince Those Who Don’t Like Her She Is Funny

Ellen taking note of a audience member having a really good time.
Ellen: Do you wanna finish laughing? I don’t wanna stop you.

With all that said, again, DeGeneres isn’t the type of comic who’ll make you roll with laughter. Outside of one or two times she curses, she is pretty much a clean comic. There are some jokes which, if you have a dirty mind, could be seen as innuendo. However, for the most part, her routine is observational, reflective of her journey, and isn’t made to get new fans but revisit olds ones and remind them she still has it.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing) | Watch only on Netflix

Ellen dancing to Juvenile's "Back That Ass Up."
Juvenile: Call me Big Daddy when you back that ass up.

Whether a fan from back in the day or someone who caught the Ellen bug thanks to her talk show, Ellen not only goes back through memory lane but gives you new material. Pushing you to understand why she has had the grand success she has had and how said success wasn’t a paved row lined with hyper allergenic flowers. It was tough, she had to pave the way in her part of the entertainment industry and while that banner was heavy, is heavy, she still waves it and welcomes visitors and those looking for a home.

Leading to why this is being labeled positive. In many ways, this special feels like it is about DeGeneres being fully liberated, validated, loved, and of course rich, yet still having everyday thoughts and feelings. Much less recognizing she was lucky that some jokes in a journal, when she was at her lowest, somehow led to this wonderful life she had. Which she may not put in a, “You can do it too!” kind of way, but definitely presents, through testimony, rather than advice, it can get better.


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1 COMMENT

  1. Sounds like a fun watch. I’m not huge on comedy and you are right when you say Ellen doesn’t normally have you laughing out loud, but I’ve always enjoyed her form of comedy and it usually makes me smile.

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